10 April 2010


I've come to the conclusion that there are three certainties in life. Two of these have been known for a long time; they were quoted by Benjamin Franklin in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy in 1789: "the only certainties in life are death and taxes" and the third certainty has to be that paid employment prevents efficient, fun training for climbing.

I've been working for the past few days for Go Ape at Whinlatter Forest Park and this has prevented me from getting out climbing during the day or to the wall to train. This has meant that I have spent a lot of time on the fingerboard in an evening, which in itself does get you strong, but only strong on the fingerboard. This strength needs to be applied to a climbing situation to prove useful and to do this you need to climb.

Evening entertainment.

I tried to remedy this problem last night by sacrificing the comfort of a warm house and comfy bed for the night, so that I could take in the excellent Langdale Boulders after work, without racking up a ridiculous number of miles and depriving myself of sleep.

Problem 17 (V1, 5c) on the Top Boulder.

This meant that once I had finished work at 6pm I was in the van, heading south to the Langdales and the awaiting rhyolite monoliths. I ticked off all of the problems I sent on my previous visit and then added a couple of extra problems to my list of Langdale conquests before getting back in the van and heading north.

Reaching for the first of the excruciating crimps on the excellent Problem 20 (V5) on the Top Boulder.

I could have headed north for a long time and eventually got back to Carlisle at a ridiculous time so instead I stopped on the shores of Thirlmere, which is half way between work and the Langdales, for a bite to eat before curling up in my sleeping bag, in the back of the van, on one of my bouldering pads to rejuvenate the batteries for the next day's work. This might not have been ideal, but when you open the back doors of the van the view certainly makes it worthwhile.

The morning view.

Then whilst eating your eight Weetabix to replenish the batteries a bit more inspiration comes to you to remain motivated for training, and keep on sacrificing certain luxuries, as the towering gullies and buttresses of Raven Crag loom overhead.

Morning inspiration; Raven Crag, which towers above Thirlmere Reservoir.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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